Lieutenant sues Minneapolis mayor alleging defamation

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2017 4:15 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police lieutenant is suing the mayor who blocked his promotion, alleging she defamed him in a text message to the chief.

In a lawsuit Friday, Lt. John Delmonico alleges Mayor Betsy Hodges called him untrustworthy and racist in a text message to then-chief Janee Harteau. The chief had announced Delmonico as her pick to take over as Fourth Precinct inspector. Hodges later blocked it, saying she should have had more notice.

The move caused a rift between Hodges and Harteau, who later resigned following the fatal police shooting of Justine Damond. The Star Tribune reports Delmonico is asking for damages in excess of $50,000.

Harteau tweeted about the lawsuit: "Not surprised!" Hodges, up for re-election in November, called it a "patently baseless" lawsuit aimed at influencing the election.

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This story has been corrected to delete an erroneous reference to the mayor initially approving the promotion. It also corrects the source of the tweet in final paragraph to the then-chief, rather than the mayor.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com